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Derek Jarman, 1942–1994

Margaret Thatcher’s Lunch1987

Jarman clearly developed bodies of work that explored sexuality, religion and the esoteric but he also became explicitly political at times. His tended to focus his attention on British politics, in particular, the policies of the Conservative Government. Works such as Margaret Thatcher’s Lunch (1986) equate violent death with cold- blooded politicking. Scratched into the surface is the phrase; ‘GBH promises, promises, promises, The Affluent Society’. The cryptic GBH has variously been interpreted as ‘Grievous Bodily Harm’ of ‘Great British Horror’

MediumOil and mixed media on canvas
Dimensions Unframed, 45.7 x 41.2 cm
Unframed, 45.7 x 41.2 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2020
Item NumberIMMA.4190
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Derek Jarman, Margaret Thatcher’s Lunch, 1987, Oil and mixed media on canvas, Unframed, 45.7 x 41.2 cm|Unframed, 45.7 x 41.2 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2020

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Derek Jarman 1942–1994

English artist Derek Jarman studied at the Slade School of Art, London, in the early 60s, and was part of a group of young painters who embodied a changing mood in British art. From the late 1960s Jarman worked in set design. In 1976 he produced his first feature film.  In socially conservative Britain, his work made queer lives and history visible. From the 1980s, Jarman made music videos with artists including The Smiths, Marianne Faithful, Bob Geldof, Marc Almond, the Pet Shop Boys and Suede.

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We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.